Today, RESEO will introduce its module on approaches to participatory intercultural projects through case studies in opera education.

How to develop a participatory intercultural project?

In recent times our societies have become more culturally diverse, more complex and full of multiple challenges, creating a necessity for cultural collaborations focusing on intercultural dialogue, social inclusion and cohesion at local, national, regional and global levels. Participatory opera offers a great way to achieve this kind of collaboration as it brings together music, drama, design, story and song, and has traditionally embraced many different cultures.

However, intercultural collaborations and participatory projects are complex to create. Projects take place in many different contexts with a range of personalities and partners, and balance human, economic, artistic and educational resources. Finding the right vision for the project and persuading new partners that opera is the right approach can be a daunting task.

As part of the Get Close to Opera project, between January and March 2018 RESEO interviewed a range of its members (individual opera educators and opera houses) based in different EU countries. The interview explored their existing experience of designing and delivering educational activities involving the social inclusion of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds, particularly migrants and refugees. It also explored their and future training and development needs in this area. Although the process of participatory arts is widely established amongst many practitioners and organisations, the interview findings showed that approaches to participatory arts change depending on the differing local needs. The findings also showed that respondents were keen to share knowledge and practical examples of participatory work and that they would value the chance to look at real case studies.

As part of the Get Close to Opera Training, RESEO will offer a training module at the end of February 2019 in Matera, Italy, that will allow participants to share good practices from opera education programmes across Europe and develop a better understanding of what constitutes quality in participatory work. Participants will also explore new artistic and aesthetic approaches in intercultural participatory projects.

RESEO will offer case studies from members, introducing participants to a range of approaches and methods in participatory intercultural work. The session will explore the differences between projects, identifying their strengths and weaknesses and discuss the challenges of setting up opera/artistic educational projects and productions. Selected case studies will represent recent opera educational projects and productions addressing the topic of social inclusion and social cohesion through the participatory approach. Participants will also discuss ways of encouraging participation of diverse groups and audiences, as well as look at what qualities, skills and knowledge are necessary to develop participatory intercultural projects.

The pilot module is aimed primarily at creative practitioners, opera and art educators, and artists who seek to lead or engage in intercultural artistic projects, and/or projects that intersect with aspects such as class, race, culture, nationality, religion. Participate in the #GCTO Training Week!


RESEO is a network for arts education and creative learning with a specific focus on opera, music and dance. Founded in 1996, RESEO brings together organisations and artists from Europe and beyond to promote innovation and equal access to creativity, exchange ideas, and collaborate on shared initiatives, making us a true catalyst for development in the field. RESEO also works with a range of partners to advocate for the value of opera, music and dance education.

Photo Credit: Sybilla Britani